After the Goose, a Rough Week, and Simplicity

Hot Water Heater


Dear friends, my apologies for taking such a long time between posts. As you may know, I was at the Wild Goose East Festival June 21-24. Indeed, Jana Riess (author of the delightful book Flunking Sainthood) wrote a very kind piece on her blog about the talk I gave on Sunday morning at the Wild Goose Festival. You can read it by following this link: Five Gifts of Contemplative Prayer.

One of the reasons I didn’t write anything after returning to Georgia (aside from being rather exhausted for a day or two) is that my DSL Modem died. So I spent most of last week accessing the Internet only through my iPhone. That was mostly a minor inconvenience, since Bellsouth replaced the modem at no charge (the new one has a built in router, so that’s pretty cool). But, alas, the modem was not to be my only item to breakdown last week… on Thursday, both our hot water heater and my car’s starter bit the dust. Ouch. No free replacements there! Needless to say, my credit card was practically screaming from the pain by the end of the day Friday (we consoled ourselves by going to see the Pixar film Brave Friday night. It’s quite a charming movie, and lovely as is usual for Pixar films. I recommend it).

So after that negative-cash-flow of a day, it’s interesting that on Sunday our topic at the Lay Cistercian gathering day was “simplicity.” A fascinating conversation ensued, and I recount the highlights of it in my latest Patheos column: The Challenges of Spiritual Simplicity.

So there’s my exciting week. Oh, yes — I also (once my new modem was installed) received the page proofs for my forthcoming book, Answering the Contemplative Call. I have to edit these pages, which will be the last edits before the book is prepared to be sent to advance reviewers, and then it be readied for the publisher. No rest for the wicked.

P.S. Several folks have hinted that they hoped I would write about the Wild Goose Festival. There have been a number of wonderful write-ups on Huffington Post, Sojo, Patheos, and elsewhere, from the likes not only of Jana Riess, but Catherine Falsani, Frank Schaeffer, Deborah Arca, and many others. I really don’t have much to add, except that it was just as wonderful, inspiring, and creative as last year, and I’m rather grumpy that what little hope I had of getting myself to Portland for the next festival basically got sucked into my new hot water heater. Oh, well, you can’t have it all, including you can’t go to every festival. But I would heartily encourage anyone who can make it to the Wild Goose Festival West to do so! Also, I would encourage everyone, no matter what part of the country you live in, to consider making a financial gift to the Wild Goose Festival. It’s quite an amazing production, and the revenues from ticket sales simply cannot pay for everything. The Wild Goose is not affiliated with any church or other organization with deep pockets, so its continued viability is directly related to the support it gets from ordinary folks like you and me. To make a donation, visit the Wild Goose Wings page.

Living with Hospice
Thank you, Patheos!
Seven Lessons I'm Learning on the Grief Journey
Completing the Hospice Journey
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Bob Holmes

    Peace Carl!

    Glad you guys had a good time at the Goose. Hope you didn’t melt with the heat.

    Also, the article Jana wrote was well done.

    I’m enjoying a slow read through The Big Book, Anam Cara, and I’ve got: Into The Silent Land coming in Thursday.

    I’m stoked to finally have some plumblines (along with Scripture) to measure what I’ve learned in the last 55+ years as a contemplative. So far so good. I’m not having to rewrite anything yet.

    Carl, You my friend are a treasure!

  • Scotty Greene

    A coincidence too “Godly” to let pass without comment. Just before opening this post on the world’s “intrusion” into one’s spiritual journey, somewhat randomly I pulled Kempis’ “Imitations of Christ” off the shelf for my morning read and reflection. Pardon my quote from Kempis’ classic at length:

    ” My Son, thou art not always able to continue in very fervent desires after virtues, nor to stand fast in the loftier regions of contemplation; but thou must of necessity sometimes descend to lower things because thine original corruption, and bear out the burden of corruptible life, though unwillingly and with weariness. So long as thou wearest a mortal body, thou shalt feel weariness and heaviness of heart. Therefore thou oughtest to groan often in the flesh because of the burden of the flesh, inasmuch as thou canst not give thyself to spiritual studies and divine contemplation unceasingly.”

    Or in more modern vernacular: no good deed goes unpunished.

    Thanks for sharing,